Upload & Sell: On
The edit of #1 is certainly better, I have had shots like that where for whatever reason, just wouldn't come together. So I think B&W is the way to go, now I like the direction of it, but as I look at it a bit more, I am struck with the feeling that instead of this being a B&W, it's a "gray" shot... if you get what I mean, there are tons of shades of gray, but no distinct real Blacks and whites... You pulled detail out of the brush, that's fantastic, and I know if you push the blacks too much, you stand a chance to lose that detail... What if from that row of brush back to the front you brightened that drying up mud? Maybe get a bit of light on it?
Maybe others will like the B&W as it is, and I think you are close, just need to touch up that foreground in some way...